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ElectriFly Mr. Mulligan Review

Aviation History and racing buffs, check it out! ElectriFly recently released a "Fun Scale" model representation of the classic Mr. Mulligan. Sporting the telltale colors of its real life counterpart, it also shares a multitude of other characteristics seen on its larger sibling including fiberglass struts, fiberglass wheelpants, colorful decals and wing struts.

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ElectriFly Mr. Mulligan ARF

 
Motor: RimFire .32
ESC: ElectriFly SS-45
Weight: ~5.5lbs
Length: 41.5 inches (1055mm)
Wingspan: 52.5 in (1335 mm)
Distributed by: Tower Hobbies
Manufactured by: ElectriFly
MSRP: $209.97
 
It's nice to change things up every once in a while, isn't it? With all these similar looking models coming off the manufacturing lines around the world it's hard to choose which plane might be next for you, let alone tell the difference between them all. Well, that's where the folks at ElectriFly come in to the picture. Recently they have released a beautiful built-up balsa rendition of the classic Mr. Mulligan air racer. With its sleek lines, easy to see color scheme, and incredible history, I get the feeling this Mr. Mulligan just might be a keeper. Let's check it out up close!

History

The Howard DGA-6 was a pioneer racing plane, nicknamed Mister Mulligan. It was one of the only airplanes ever designed (if not the only) for the specific purpose of winning the Bendix Trophy.The plane was designed and developed by Ben Howard and Gordon Israel, who later became an engineer for the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation. Mister Mulligan was designed to fly the entire length of the race nonstop and at high altitude when neither had ever been done before. Mister Mulligan won the trophy and thus helped change the way in which long distance airplanes were designed. Mister Mulligan not only won the Bendix but also the Thompson Trophy when flown by Harold Neumann in 1935. Instead of a cross-country distance race, the Thompson was a closed-circuit race around pylons, a type of race for which it was not particularly well suited. Entered again in the Bendix in 1936, the Mister Mulligan was completely destroyed when the craft lost one of the propeller blades, resulting in a forced landing, 40 miles (64 km) north of Crownpoint, New Mexico. This crash landing almost killed Howard and his co-pilot wife, Maxine. Source: wikipedia.com

More information on Mr. Mulligan can be found here. Info on the Bendix trophy can be found here and information regarding the Thompson Trophy can be found here

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Kit Contents

Unboxing Mr. Mulligan, I found each component individually wrapped and free any of shipping damage. Each major component (wing halves, fuselage, tail feathers, etc.) all come covered in a nice white MonoKote which matches the wing struts, fiberglass wheel pants, cowling and fiberglass landing gear struts. The fiberglass cowl is nicely painted as well and has a nice 'static' display motor which the builder has the option of adding more detail too should they so decide (parts provided with the kit). Access to the battery is via the removable windshield which exposes a very large compartment for the battery of your choice. All the provided hardware appears to be of good quality and I won't be replacing any of it for the build. Tires, decals, instruction manual, control rods and wing spar round off what's in the box and overall I was impressed with my first encounter with the Mr. Mulligan kit. It was a bit larger then I had expected .... good thing the wing can be built in one or two pieces! Other details I found out of the box I liked included the pre-hinged and pre-installed aileron and flap control surfaces, the faux instrument panel, the fiberglass landing gear struts along with the metal wing struts.

 

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Kit includes/features:

  • Balsa construction w/ MonoKote covering
  • Awesome scale lines
  • Pre-installed control surfaces in the wings
  • Fiberglass landing gear struts and wheel pants
  • Magnetic windshield for easy battery access
  • Hardware kit (control horns, pushrods, connectors, wheels, etc.)

Kit requirements:

  • 4-6x Micro servos (Futaba S3115)
  • 6+ channel Receiver (R617FS)
  • RimFire .32 Brushless Outrunner motor
  • 45A ESC (ElectriFly SS-45)
  • Batteries (4s 4350 FlightPower EON 30c)
  • 12x8 prop (APC)
  • Servo Extensions

Tower Hobbies has provided the majority of components for my build. They have been kind enough to send along the recommended components including a RimFire .32 electric motor, a 4s 4350mah 30C FlightPower LiPo battery, six (6) Futaba S3115 servos and a Silver Series 45A ESC. One of the things that I find very nice about most ElectriFly kits I've built is the fit of the recommended parts. Everything fits well as described and doesn't require any fiddling about when installing it. I realize for some of you "doing your own thing" is 1/2 the fun but sometimes it's just nice when things go together like a big jigsaw puzzle.

Assembly

As with most ElectriFly products I've encountered the instruction manual does a nice job of covering the assembly process with nice clear pictures of each major step of the process. As such we won't go into painstaking detail as to how to build this model but just provide some of the high points. Most of you will have all the required build tools in the garage already but it's always a good thing to read through the manual to not only verify this but it also helps you develop a picture of the overall build. Let's get to it!!

Fuselage

As with most ARFs nowadays, assembling the fuselage on Mr. Mulligan doesn't require much (Well ... it doesn't really require anything). While things like the electric motor, battery, ESC, servos, etc. get installed into the fuselage, the assembly and covering are done at the factory for us. Overall I give the factory good marks for their attention to detail on the covering and have only had to touch up one or two spots on the whole airplane with the iron (wing). A nice decal is installed on the dash to represent dials, switches, indicators, etc., and there is also a nice, easily removable cover in place inside the fuselage which allows the elevator and rudder servos to be hidden once it's put in place. All of the windows are pre-installed, and the interior has been painted a nice flat black which makes things look much nicer than a bare wood finish in my opinion.

 

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Wing

Mr. Mulligan's wing has a few building options. The wing can either be assembled in a one or two piece fashion, and the flaps can be done in one of three configurations (fixed, semi-fixed, or operational). For transportability reasons I have decided to leave my wing in two pieces. The only difference between the one or two piece wing in terms of construction is the additional step of using epoxy to glue the halves together. As for the construction of the wing itself, it is very traditional. I started by installing the aileron servos onto the covers with the provided hardware blocks and accessories provided in my servo hardware bag. Once in place, I attached a 12" servo extension and routed the lead through the wing via the pre-installed guide wire(s). I secured the servo cover in place with the provided screws and then installed the control horn(s). I tied it all together with the control rod making sure to align and lengthen things so the control surface would be centered with the radio system powered up and the servo centered. Once I was happy with the ailerons, I repeated the same basic process for the flaps. After both wing halves had ailerons and flaps installed, I glued the alignment pin and the wing dowel in place. Again, the construction technique is pretty traditional and took me about 3 1/2 hours to complete.

 

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Tail

While there is nothing complicated about the tail assembly on this kit, it always helps to ensure everything is as square as possible to ensure straight tracking and predictable handling. As such you'll want to spend a bit of time dry fitting the parts to see if any finessing of components is required to achieve the overall standard. I started the installation by removing the wood block in the tail feathers and slipping the horizontal stab in place. I attached the completed wing while standing in front of the model ensure that the horizontal stab and wing ran parallel with one another. If they don't, you can either sand the pieces or weight them to square them up. Once satisfied with the horizontal stab I slipped the vertical in place and once again verified it was positioned appropriately. Using a builder's triangle as well as your eyes works well here. After everything had been aligned, I pulled each of the components out and secured them in place with a combination of 15 - 30 minute epoxy and thin CA glue. Be careful when applying the thin CA glue as it does have a tendency to run everywhere except where you intend it.

Once the tail feathers were in place, I hooked up the control horns, installed the servos within the belly of the aircraft and pinned them together via the control rods. Take your time when setting things up to ensure that your control surfaces are centered up when the radio system is powered up. It does take a bit longer but it's always nice to know your model has been setup correctly and doesn't need any trim/subtrim right off the build table.

Power system assembly / install

Prepping the power system for install started by mounting the X-mount to the back of the Rimfire .32 sized motor. Once the X-mount had been secured to the motor, I simply bolted it up to the firewall with the provided socket head screws and some washers. I left the motor wires running straight down so as to allow them to enter the fuselage in the area where the ESC will reside. Once the motor was in place, I secured the ESC to its mounting plate and glued it in place inside the fuselage. I connected the motor wires and ESC then verified the motor's direction of rotation before proceeding. Remember, a prop isn't required to do this, and ultimately it's safest to verify the direction of rotation while it's removed. All said and done, mounting the motor, ESC and battery took me about 30 minutes.

 

Landing gear

Installing the landing gear starts by attaching the fiberglass and metal struts to the fuselage with the provided hardware. I slipped the 'tongue' of the strut into the slot in the fuselage and secured it in place with the 6 provided screws. Once the struts had been installed, I slipped the covers into place and secured them with some tape and canopy glue (remove the tape after the glue dries). While the glue was drying I installed the axles and ground flat spots on them at the specified locations with my Dremel. I slipped the wheel in place over the axles and secured them in place with a pair of collars. In order to finish things up I installed the wheel pants by slipping the pant over the wheel and securing it in place with two screws and washers (per side). All in all this phase of the assembly was really straightforward and didn't take more than an hour or so.

 

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Radio Installation

I'll be using a 6 channel R617FS Futaba receiver paired up with my Futaba 7c 2.4ghz transmitter to stay connected with my model. The R617FS Rx lives underneath a nicely painted flat black cover residing just under the cockpit area of the airplane. A hole has been drilled in the cover to allow the passing of the wing servo leads, but everything else is nicely contained under the cover and stays hidden out of sight.

Completion

Completion of the model includes mounting the cowling, slapping on the decals, checking the CG of the aircraft and last but not least, configuring the throws of our control surfaces. No more time to talk about it, let's fly this thing!

Flying

Basics

Generally speaking Mr. Mulligan is a very neutral feeling plane, and it tracks very well. Flight times range in the 5 - 7 minute window depending upon how you fly it, and its overall top speed isn't mind numbing (I'd guess for those who aren't speed junkies it will provide more than enough in that department). I've been flying the plane on the suggested throws and C.G, and with the exception of a little added expo, everything feels pretty dialed in. Those of you looking for a bit quicker roll rate might want to consider upping your throws there. While cruising along the airframe makes a cool sound that I think is a combination of the airframe, prop, and airflow through the fuselage for cooling. It's result is a nice "whoooosh" every time it comes by ..... gotta love it! The flaps are also pretty effective and should you be flying off a shorter strip, I'm pretty certain you'll be happy they are present. I dialed in a slight amount of elevator, mixing to compensate for the change when the flaps drop but the first couple of flights before adding it, I had no issues just compensating by hand with a little elevator.

Taking Off and Landing

Takeoff

Takeoffs are much like any tail dragger in the sense that a good amount of rudder is required to keep the plane tracking down the centerline. In order to help offset all this torque, slowly roll into the throttle, and smoothly feed in rudder to compensate as your ground speed increases. Before you know it the tail will be up off the ground and the plane will be in the air. Our runway is fine, loosely packed gravel, and the Mulligan had no issues plowing right through, wheel pants and all. I'd guess with the power on tap, the Mulligan could be flown off grass strips but the wheel pants might limit that to shorter length grass.

Landing

Overall, the Mr. Mulligan airframe is pretty clean and as such, the plane doesn't bleed off speed as rapidly as you would expect. The plane is very stable and predictable while on approach; just make sure to watch your airspeed isn't too high. I've found lowering the flaps during the downwind really helps get the plane slowed down and makes the approach much easier. On short final, pull the power back but leave it open about 1/8 until the mains settle down, then pull he power back and gradually feed in up elevator to settle the tail wheel on the ground. Don't be surprised in the plane does ground loop a time or two while you're getting acquainted with it, it is a tail dragger after all!

Aerobatics/Special Flight Performance

Aileron rolls are nice and scale, and inverted flight requires just a tad bit of elevator to compensate and keep the plane tracking level. Loops are nice and scale as well and can be performed from level flight should you want. I prefer to do a bit larger radius loop so I tend to enter them for a slight nose down attitude ... to each his own they say!

Is This For a Beginner?

No. It's being marketed as an intermediate level plane, and I agree with that. It's size and power require a little respect, and being a tail dragger it does require a bit of coordination on the sticks.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery













Conclusion

I have enjoyed the opportunity to review the Mr. Mulligan offering from ElectriFly and generally speaking find it very pleasing both visually and in its flight characteristics. If you're looking for a unique plane to bring out to the flying field this upcoming season be sure you check it out ..... it might just fit the ticket!

Likes:

  • Great scale lines
  • Cool in-flight sound
  • Pre-installed control surfaces (minus the tail surfaces)
  • Fiberglass landing gear struts
  • Complete hardware kit

Dislikes:

  • Covering tends to wrinkle even though I used the iron on it numerous times
  • Plate that covers electronics inside fuselage is pretty fragile (but easily repairable)
  • Minor alignment issues on the pre-installed flaps

Last edited by Angela H; Feb 16, 2012 at 05:45 PM..

Discussion

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Old Feb 16, 2012, 07:27 PM
Registered User
Joined Jul 2001
352 Posts
Where's the video? Thank you for the review.
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Old Feb 16, 2012, 09:56 PM
deanz406
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Latrobe, Pa.
Joined Oct 2010
88 Posts
Don-- Many thanks for ur review, and build of Mr Mulligan. I bought one as soon as they were available, but haven't done the build yet. I do go over, and open the box from time to time, just to look at it, and am getting anxious to get started on it. The weather up here in W.Pa. is the usual ugly, snowy, wet, miserable kind now, and spring will be a welcome.
I did see the review on U Tube, with the 2 fliers on there, and they say that the plane liked the CG pretty much where the balance is more level than nose down. I guess that will all be determined after the 1st flight, as some may use different components in their build.
The aerial photos are absolutely magnificent, and it is definitely a beautiful plane to watch in the air. I plan on installing a camera on mine, probably servo operated to be able to pan the flight looking out both sides, and forward of the cabin. I think looking out, and seeing under a wing, and the struts, and looking at the scenery below is going to really satisfy me.
Once again-- thanks for ur review, it was very well written. Dean
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 10:01 PM
Yes my name is Cessna.
USA, FL, Tampa
Joined Mar 2010
196 Posts
Nice review and pictures. Box sitting here with mine and I just need time to assemble it. Any video of the plane would be great. Always nice to see a landing to know what to expect. Were you able to get the cg right without any extra weight? Also how was the plastic faux motor... Looks like you might have painted/detailed it. I have a number of 3400 mh 4 cells. The box indicated that size but everyone seems to be using 4300 or so.. Little surprised the recommendation is so much less than what every one is using. A part of the reason I bought this was because I already had those size batteries. Just a little disappointing I may have to go buy some more pricey batteries to get more than few minutes of flight time... How many watts are you pulling at half and full throttle? That info would help me calculate what I can expect on the 3400 mah battery.

Again.. Nice review and a great looking plane. Can't wait to get mine up in the air!
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 02:02 PM
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USA, NC, Greensboro
Joined Mar 2002
1,457 Posts
Where is the Video?
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Old Mar 14, 2012, 12:05 AM
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USA, FL, Safety Harbor
Joined Sep 2000
156 Posts
Flew 1st test flight with 8" wing extension (4" each panel) on 4S4000 rifire 32 and 13x4.5 prop. that pulls 35 amps x 14v = 75 watts/lb for 4lb 12 oz model. Stall benign until full aft elevator high rate (don't have throw) then tip stall/spiral which took about 150 ft to recover. On 2nd test flight will move 4000x4s to aft firewall to test stall. 85 degree flaps on final and flare used with 5 kt headwind. No prblems with flaps. Will use flaps for reduced landing issues whenever requested.
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Old Mar 14, 2012, 09:53 AM
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United States, KY, La Grange
Joined Feb 2006
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Nothing can be believed unless there is video truth......
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Old Mar 14, 2012, 04:44 PM
Registered User
USA, FL, Safety Harbor
Joined Sep 2000
156 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by VicT View Post
Flew 1st test flight with 8" wing extension (4" each panel) on 4S4000 rifire 32 and 13x4.5 prop. that pulls 35 amps x 14v = 75 watts/lb for 4lb 12 oz model. Stall benign until full aft elevator high rate (don't have throw) then tip stall/spiral which took about 150 ft to recover. On 2nd test flight will move 4000x4s to aft firewall to test stall. 85 degree flaps on final and flare used with 5 kt headwind. No prblems with flaps. Will use flaps for reduced landing issues whenever requested.
Added 8" to span for lower wing loading. Do not have experience with stock 52.5" span wing so can't tell the difference. Will do 2nd test flight tomorrow with forward CG and will verify control throws as per the manual. Note the 80 degree down landing/drag flaps. Wing span was extended 4" on each panel but flaps were kept stock length.
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Old Mar 30, 2012, 09:02 AM
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Oakland Ca.
Joined Aug 2009
9,202 Posts
Inspection

Hi all, I got mine VERY quickly after ordering, I mean like OVERNIGHT, it was in the Reno facility and I am in Oakland so it happened fast.
Very excited, opened the box and first thing we noticed was that the right aileron had been crushed by the packer pullling too tightly with the shipping tape.
My inspector/project manager actually pointed to it straight off ( see pics of Inspector ).
I called, they sent me a link to a retrun UPS label in minutes.
Took a week for it to get from Ca. to Illinois, they inspected and found it was on them.
I worked with customer service, asked them to please have someone open and inspect the replacement prior to shipping to me, they did, I now have the replacement and it is in fine condition.
I am Very happy with the process and personal attention I got.
Off we go !
Tim
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Old Mar 30, 2012, 10:06 AM
RMS
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Westport, MA
Joined Oct 2004
882 Posts
The comments in the review regarding "scale" loops etc........... Hmmm, how many RC modelers have really seen the "real" DGA-6 fly? Makes me wonder if it flies scale like all the RC CUbs out there. Anyhow, I'm not trying to be a wise guy...............

This is cool:
Benny Howard & Harold Neumann Sweep the 1935 National Air Races (4 min 21 sec)
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Old Mar 31, 2012, 12:44 PM
Lori, hey, you're home early
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United States, NJ, Trenton
Joined Jan 2004
9,130 Posts
Vic-- I'm trying to visualize how you lengthened the span. Did you create a center section piece that mounts to the fuse and slide the wings into that? Normally the wing halves meet at the centerline of the fuse. Your wing roots are at the sides of the fuselage?

Mike
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Old Mar 31, 2014, 10:03 PM
Chaos Theory Meets Dumb Thumbs
United States, TX, Austin
Joined Apr 2013
35 Posts
Well, I just got one of these and the quality hasn't changed... if anything it has gotten worse. I stopped counting 1/8" x 1.5" glued wrinkles in this thing when I got to 150. They didn't even sand the sharp wood edges (some were 1/8" high) before they covered it, the wood now trying to stick through the covering. The wing and tail feathers were not bad at all and would likely have tightened. But the fuselage is all ply and wood strip covered and the covering was VERY poorly applied.
I wanted this as a hang it up/show plane, but there was no way. You could see the wrinkles from 20 feet. Almost $40 to send it back (no refund of shipping). What a waste. My suggestion... stay away from it... I wished I had paid more attention to the comments on here and others.
Crasher
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Old Apr 01, 2014, 06:25 PM
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United States, CA, Los Angeles
Joined Mar 2013
467 Posts
Mm

Too bad you got a bad one. I've gone through several and they've all been pretty good(especially for the price. Mine have all come out gorgeous. Check out the MM discussion thread. Lots of info there.
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